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Kirk Douglas Headshot

Will Technology Replace Thinking?

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When you get to be 96 years of age the road ahead is short, so you look back at the road you have traveled for almost 100 years.

The first thing you come up against is technology. One night we took our grandchildren out for dinner. I looked around the table. Jason, the youngest, was playing games with his cellphone; Ryan, 12 years old, had his head under the table and I assumed he was watching his cellphone; Tyler, 16, and his sister Kelsey, 18, were both involved on their cellphones too. Lisa, their mother, was frantically searching in her purse for her ringing cellphone; and Peter, their father, was leaning back, laughing loudly, on his cellphone. I looked across the table at my wife. We both shrugged.

Outside is worse. People walking down the streets, holding objects against their ears, either listening or talking. When they're speaking it looks like they're just crazy people talking to themselves. They cross the road without looking, still talking, and people driving their cars are doing the same thing. Is what they're saying really that important?

I don't have a cellphone. I don't want one. But my wife secretly had a computer installed in my room. They taught me how to play Spider Solitaire. I quickly became an addict -- just solitaire, nothing else. I don't press any other keys because I'm sure it would cause an explosion.

What will become of our world in the next 100 years? Will our children and grandchildren even learn how to write or spell? Will technology replace thinking?

I just realized that you're probably reading this on your computer or on your cellphone while you're driving or crossing the street.

Watch where you're going!